Friday, May 29, 2015

4 Easy, Effective Homemade Cleaners & One INCREDIBLE Fail

I love saving money with homemade cleaners. Years ago, when our dog was a puppy, I learned how effective diluted white vinegar was in cleaning up pee stains and neutralizing the odor. Soon after, I learned that white vinegar is great for disinfecting counter tops as well and it's now my family's FAVORITE cleaner. But there are others.

My FAVORITE cleaner - cheap and it has anti-bacterial properties.

Here are my four favorite homemade cleaners followed by one I tried which was a complete disaster.

  1. Laundry Stain Remover: In a spray bottle, mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part baking soda, and 2 parts water. Spray on stains, wait two minutes, then wash.

  2. Drain Declogger: Before you reach for the Drano, try this first. Sprinkle one cup of super washing soda (find it in the laundry aisle) into the drain and then add two cups of boiling water (feel free to add more) down the drain to flush. This is great for drains that are slow and it's also great to do periodically to the kitchen sink to prevent clogs. 

  3. Floor Cleaner: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 gallon of hot water, ¼ cup of liquid soap and 1 to 2 tablespoons of pine or lemon oil. Clean the floor with a mop or damp rag. Follow with a clean-water mop. 

  4. Enamel Or Porcelain Cleaner: Mix 1 cup of baking soda or borax, some warm water, and 2 to 3 drops of liquid soap (I use Dawn). Apply to surfaces and let sit about 5 minutes before scrubbing with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse and wipe off any residue.

Now about that epic fail...I've seen several recipes for homemade dishwasher detergent. Most include either borax or baking soda, maybe even super washing soda, as an ingredient. So I tried it on my GE Washer. BIG MISTAKE. The powder got into every crevice of the machine and coated the dishes. The heat cycle then baked that residue in. It effectively KILLED my $800 dishwasher. 

I also made a furniture cleaner with olive oil which left a nasty coating on my living room table. So what did I learn?

IF POSSIBLE, TEST THESE CLEANERS OUT BEFORE YOU USE A LOT OF THE STUFF.  Don't take my word or anyone else's.  No, there was no way of knowing the dishwasher detergent would kill my GE, but maybe if I'd tested the furniture cleaner out before using it on my table, it would have saved some scrubbing.


Happy Cleaning! 

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